Plans in place for artificial pitches

Football pitches on Little Lane, Goose Green, Wigan
Football pitches on Little Lane, Goose Green, Wigan

Plans for new artificial pitch on a popular Wigan playing field are set to go before the council’s planning committee.

Winstanley Warriors submitted the application earlier this year with proposals for a floodlit playing surface at its Little Lane home in Goose Green.

The club has received a grant from the Football Foundation and it is hoped that work would be completed by October.

Little Lane has already benefitted from a £130,000 grant to improve the general state of its grounds.

The aim is to replace the existing pitch with an artificial grass one, put up 4.5m fencing, six 12m floodlights, new outdoor store and relocation of modular building, plus landscaping.

However, the plans haven’t been met with delight by everyone with neighbours expressing concerns over the floodlights and the notice given to them.

They have been invited to add their comments before June 10 but many have insisted they weren’t notified in time.

Winstanley chairman Shaun Rotherham said: “We had £130,000 invested with the grass pitches and they are probably the best in Wigan now.

“With the 3g pitches, when most teams get games called off, these will be perfectly fit to use.

“From a club perspective it is fantastic. This will snowball and get more children playing football which is great news.”

A number of residents have voiced concerns over a number of issues surrounding the plans.

One of the major problems identified has been the use of floodlights. Concerns are that the light will interrupt them in unsocial hours.

One resident contacted the Evening Post to vent their anger at the Council saying they only found out about the plans last week and therefore haven’t been given enough time to raise concerns before the this Friday’s deadline.

She said: “A few have been notified but a lot didn’t know. Nobody wants giant floodlights outside their house.”

Mike Worden, assistant director for planning and transport at Wigan Council, said: “The application is still being considered and we are happy to receive comments from local residents until June 10.

“We will then take those comments in to account when a decision is made. The plans are available on the council’s website for people to look at.”

Discussing the issues raised by neighbours, Mr Rotherham said: “We are dealing with the Football Foundation and they are involved with hundreds of these 3g pitches each year.

“They know what is acceptable and what isn’t. They make it so it minimises any interference. Nothing goes outside the border.

“While I can understand residents’ concerns, they have nothing to worry about, they won’t be affected by the light on their windows.”

Mr Rotherham is expecting a decision on the application at the start of next month and wants work to begin by the end of July.